NASA Releases "Sector 33" Air Traffic Control Game

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    NASA, the U.S. space agency has released a new iOS game called Sector 33. The educational title aims to teach youngsters math and reasoning skills as they act the role of an air traffic controller in charge of ATC Sector 33 as they guide planes to San Francisco International Airport from the East over California and Nevada.

    Players adjust multiple planes' path and speed to safely reach a target location in the sky in the fastest time possible while keeping the plans a safe distance apart.

    NASA is no stranger to iOS apps, having launched an iPhone app in 2009 to help users stay on top of the latest NASA news.

    Sector 33 is available free for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: NASA Releases "Sector 33" Air Traffic Control Game
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I guess they're trying to get the next generation prepared for when this guy becomes president*:


    *I neither support nor actually expect him to win, I just thought the image was pretty funny and fit the topic well enough.
  3. reden macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Shuttle program shut down? Lets make video games!
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    So it's Flight Control, but much more realistic looking?

  5. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    More math, less freehand drawing, I think.

    NASA has other cool apps too (non-game).
  6. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    About the only thing they can afford to do these days.
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    looks pretty cool. i'll have to give it a go and see how it compares to reality.
  8. SamFisher macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2010
    United Kingdom
    They should have made it paid, NASA need the money to get to mars damn it! XD

    will try this app however, it's like flight control for boffins :)
  9. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    Interessting for enthusiasts ... So I got it ... But really only for hard core plane lovers :rolleyes:

    Flight Control HD has the better music :eek:
  10. marcusj0015 macrumors 65816

    Aug 29, 2011
  11. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    While I appreciate the sarcasm, NASA does much more than Shuttle. The Aeronautics part is deeply involved in a lot of non-space research; and produces a lot of useful (and often free) material of interest to pilots, researchers and engineers. Glenn, for example, has some great educational DVDs on icing. I've used some of NASA's human factors research in my work.

    Shuttle is neat, but it's the very visible tip of a much larger organization.

    As for the game, It looks cool, but then again one of my favorite games was an old MS-DOS ASCII ATC simulator.

    Flight Control is fun, as is ATC but this looks like a more realistic simulation.
  12. coder12 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2010
    They should sell Apps and get more money :( I want to go to the moon!
  13. timotay89 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    I saw a presentation about this at a math conference. It was paid for with money that must be put towards projects like this. It wasn't that much money relative to all the other stuff NASA does.

    It comes with a ton of stuff that's good for the classroom, and as a math teacher, it's an excellent teaching tool. There's good descriptions, workbooks, computer simulators, and it's challenging too. Stuff like this would usually cost schools quiet a lot of money, and then they aren't always good and just push more of the makers own crap.

    It's a perfect answer to "when are we going to use this stuff?" that you get in a classroom CONSTANTLY.

    And it makes math fun for kids.
  14. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Ain't gonna happen with NASA.
    Need to commercialize space big time, and the Russians are doing a better job of that for the moment.
  15. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Well I happen to know people here personally working on Apps for NASA or their contractors (I live in Clear lake) and often times things like this these are things that the guys made to experiment and learn how to do things on the mobile OS. Often times it does not take much work to finish the clean up and make it look a little better.
    That or the core of it was done for some other project and it could easily be made into a game with limited work.

    You basically are getting things that the employees are learning how to code on given out.
  16. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yeah, there are plenty of 'drawing a path' cartoony games already in the App Store, so this seems like a nice change of pace. And hey its free and looks very scientific- you can probably fake out your grandma and tell her you are doing real traffic control on your iPhone.
  17. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Except that the next two ISS launches have been delayed because of defects and the fleet was grounded last August. So... Other than not being able to fly, they're doing great! :D
  18. sjp5317 macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2010
    Denham Springs, LA
    Very Addicting Game

    I guess this belongs in a review section or something, but the game is really addicting. I am 3/4 of the way through it. I think my wife got tired of my staring at my phone at dinner. It makes you think of a lot of aspects at the same time...time and speed. Hopefully if I beat it I can get recruited to be a flight controller! I wonder what that pays? :)
  19. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I guess they have to make money someplace, but most of the NASA stuff is free anyway. No Mars mission ( probably not in my lifetime either) China will probably get to the Moon, and then what?

    If they charge for this, well good luck to them. I know they are desperate to raise profiles and put the public interest back, if it helps, then great.
  20. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Several Mars missions have been called failures that weren't, including Russian missions. Here is something to think about - you may remember this incident.....

    Is this at all interesting? A little bit scary?
  21. mamajt macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2010
    I totally fell in love with that game, completed it in one evening. Can you recommend some similar games?
  22. sweex macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2009
    I liked it, the math you need is pretty basic but the more difficult levels do require some thinking, memory and timing. IMO it was a bit short though.
  23. AIP5 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2011
    I don't get why people are crying about the space shuttle program. It was probably one of the biggest wastes in NASA history. It never accomplished any of its intended goals, and only stagnated human space exploration in low Earth orbit. If we had just used disposable space rockets like the Russians do, we would definitely have been further than just low Earth orbit.

    Sigh... at least NASA's JPL is doing wonders, if not the Florida coast. Can't wait for the next Mars Rover to land!
  24. DisMyMac macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2009
    Google "Mars conspiracy". The missions aren't failing - that would be as absurd as having your car break down every time you go for a drive.

    The irony is that there is no coverup; all of the data you need to know what's on Mars has been released, just not through official channels.
  25. jamewhite86, Feb 3, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    jamewhite86 macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2012
    NASA Releases "Sector 33" Air Traffic Control Game

    NASA's associate administrator for education. "Using an interactive game to spark their interest, while at the same time teaching them fundamental math concepts, is a win-win scenario. It is a perfect way to help cultivate the next generation of engineers and technologists." thanks for information.

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